Algarve Running Challenge November 2019
On November 4-10 I was in Portugal for the Algarve Running Challenge, the third year in a row in which I have participated. It was nice to be with fellow Dulwich Runners (7 of the participants) and meet other regulars from various different clubs. I come back all the fitter and with improved running ability thanks to the care with which Steve Smythe plans and arranges the events.
Each day there is a different form of run. I enjoy running along the trails in the woods, then when it is over getting into the sea for a swim. The water this year was cold, but calm, added interest provided by the odd large stranded jellyfish.
The sports stadium where we do the mile race has very good facilities with a smart track a Ukrainian athlete was pounding around when we arrived. On this occasion there was an Under-19 women’s football tournament taking place. Some of us went back on the Friday evening to watch England versus Norway – unfortunately England went 1-0 down to a goal which was way offside. This even though I had been impressed how the match officials were diligently training on the pitch while we were running our mile time trial that is part of the ARC event.
The traditional highlight of the final day a 10 Mile race across the bridge between Portugal and Spain was not possible this year because the bridge is still under repair. We did our own 10K race, handicapped so that all the participants could arrive back closely.
Then there was a prize giving ceremony for various individual achievements and a team prize for the relay, in which Dulwich was represented with two teams. I was proud to come back with a cross country medal for the 5K. I would recommend the trip to anyone of any standard who would like to train during November in a nice climate in a structured way with plenty of time for other activities too including a rest day.